Congrats to Diane Bathgate and Rebecca Johnson on being voted the Respect Champions here at RRM.
1. In your own words, why is the value of respect important in the workplace?
Being respectful of individuality, thoughts and actions is an essential aspect of being a quality human. Treating people and our environment with respect and appreciation are foundational for our planning and design work, resulting in tailored solutions. And what’s the downside? : )
2. How does the value of respect impact your work on a daily basis?
Respect is essential for listening, understanding, and communication – so important for our work with communities, clients and colleagues! It also makes work much more fun and rewarding.
- Talk less, listen more. Ask questions of others, and show understanding. Listening is the better half of communications, and it’s what builds respect, trust, stronger relationships, and new discoveries. Listening in the workplace has taken me on a journey of new discoveries at RRM: For instance, finding out someone’s father was on the Twilight Zone, or hearing about why entitlements take so long in San Luis Obispo, or the realization that your colleague’s discussion about a newly-built project was something created from nothing for others to live their best lives–like taking a one-way trip down a silvery slide to land upon on a sandy beach.
- Some of my most valuable lessons on respect have come from my work in the theatre: Like watching actors transport the audience to a different time and place, or dialogue that is so real you forget there is an arch separating you and the stage, or perhaps you see a moment that only happens in live theatre – like someone falling flat on their face while singing and dancing (witnessed), or an actor’s pants falling down and they just keep delivering their lines (witnessed). These humbling experiences bring the value of respect in the workplace to an entirely new level.
- I really think it’s a natural instinct to respect others and bring that value to the workplace, but certain circumstances can get in the way and make it more challenging: For instance, having worked in the stock market at the end of the “.com” boom, I’ve seen the worst of a disrespectful work environment, but also having worked in memory care for older adults, I’ve seen the best of respect exercised in the hardest of moments. I think the two most important aspects of respect is that it remains ever-present, but that it can be reframed and redefined through listening and new discoveries.